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Potato Showplace

If there’s a place that’s more appropriate for the Canadian Potato Museum, you can make the argument that you couldn’t do better than the town of O’Leary in Prince Edward Island. P.E.I., of course, produces a large portion of Canada’s potatoes. O’Leary, a town with obvious Irish origins, is host to the annual Potato Blossom Festival in July and is situated in the heart of farm country, surrounded by the beautiful red…

Unravelling the Mystery of Potato Curl

Long before the first outbreak of late blight, it became apparent in 18th century Europe that potato crops degenerated from one year to the next. The reasons for this were unclear, but initially the disease was given the name of “curl” because infected potato plant leaves tended to curl or roll. Subsequent crops planted with tubers harvested from infected crops produced increasingly lower yields, hence the idea that potato cultivars would degenerate…

The Potato Murrain – The Birth of Modern Plant Pathology

A short history of late blight, and the beginnings of the agri-chemical market. Because of both the economic and climatic conditions in Ireland in the eighteenth century, the potato quickly became the main food for the large Irish farm families who each had only a small amount of land from which to extract a living. The dependence of the Irish population on the potato became so great that when the late blight disease…

potatoes_faith_exclusive2012

Potatoes and Faith | Spud Smart Exclusive 2012

Potatoes and Faith Throughout their long history potatoes have been both worshiped and reviled. The potato was first domesticated several thousand years ago in the area around Lake Titicaca at the border of modern-day Bolivia and Peru, in the Andes mountain range of South America. It was a major food source for various civilizations that preceded and included the Inca Empire. Potatoes were so important to the survival of these early people…

Potatoes and the Arts | Spud Smart Exclusive | 2012

Potatoes and the ArtsDuring its colourful history the potato has been the subject of many forms of art. The earliest known association between the potato and visual arts is found on ceramics created by South American Indian civilizations several centuries ago. Archaeological discoveries from that era in Peru and Bolivia include pottery on which the potato is depicted. Various forms of vases were frequently used in religious ceremonies and funeral rites in…

Potatoes, Politics and Poverty | Spud Smart Exclusive | 2012

The family of “The Great Elector” of Prussia inspecting the potatoes in the palace garden.* The potato has played an integral role in food security during times of want and political turmoil around the world. After the potato arrived on the European continent in the late 1500s, it took a couple of centuries until it was finally accepted as a staple food for human consumption. There were several reasons for this long…

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